Guys, I did it.
Technically the point of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words during the month of November. I didn’t write anywhere close to that. My goal was a far more modest 20,000 word kids book and I did it.
Obviously there is still a long road of edits and thinking about publishing ahead, but this is the first time I’ve ever managed to finish something that might be shaped into a real, actual book. I never imagined myself writing a childrens’ book (but then, this year has been full of a bunch of things in my life I never imagined, which is a whole other story) and I really learned from it.
First of all, writing for kids is fun. There is so much more leeway to be silly and just do things purely for entertainment. I was worried that I was going to be using words and ideas that would be too much for your average kid, but in reading other kids books in my free time for research, there is plenty of room to play. Kids are smart. They know how dictionaries or the internet works. While there are also tons of books out there with lessons hidden inside. Mine isn’t one of these. It has magic and castles and grumpy unicorns and explosive cupcakes and nary a lesson to be seen. I’m not sorry for this. Kids have enough to deal with. Some things should just be fun.
Second, I learned that the biggest hurdle to finishing a book is me. I overthink…. well… about everything. My stories are no exception. Once I sat down and just wrote without going back to analyze or edit, I was totally fine. 2,000 words at a stretch was easy when I wasn’t questioning every other word.
Right now I’m going to sit back and wait a few weeks before diving into the editing process. It’s already agony. Hopefully, soon I’ll be on the lookout for a few beta readers to help me give it a good polish. In the meantime, I’m going to play with other projects, research publishing options and create a “bible” for my book (it’s definitely a series. That was a surprise.).
Any other NaNo-ers out there? How did you guys do?